Mincemeat Yeast Buns

I have been doing a lot of yeast baking recently and  posted recipes for cinnamon buns and for poppy seed yeast buns, which were very soft and fluffy.

I still had a little mincemeat left over from Christmas and thought why not use some of this. The resulting buns are reminiscent of English Chelsea Buns.

This English fruit mix would be recognised in Poland as bakalie -Balkan mix.

The dough is soft and rather hard to handle. After the first rising the dough is NOT knocked back but just used as it is to make a rectangular shape. Putting the buns into a deep foil lined roasting tin helps to let them rise into shape.

Ingredients

  • 250g strong flour
  • 250g plain flour
  • Half a tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 50g butter
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Around 330ml milk
  • *
  • Several tablespoons of mincemeat

Method

  • Line a roasting tin with foil taking it all up the sides.
  • Warm a little of the milk and add the yeast.
  • Leave for around 10 minutes.
  • Mix the flours together.
  • Rub the butter into the flour – like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the sugar.
  • Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture.
  • Add the beaten egg
  • Slowly add the milk – you might not need all of it.
  • Use a knife first to start to bring everything together
  • Then use your hands and form a soft dough ball.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for at least 5 minutes – even up to 10 minutes.
  • Place the dough into a bowl, cover (a disposable shower cap is good) and leave to rise until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board.
  • DO NOT KNOCK BACK THE DOUGH.
  • Using you fingers gently flatten and shape the dough into a rectangle.
  • Cover the dough with the mincemeat.
  • Roll into a log.
  • Slice into thick pieces.
  • Place the pieces into the tin.
  • Cover and leave to rise.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C
  • Once all the pieces are touching put in the hot oven.
  • Bake for around 20 mins – check and maybe cover after 15mins.
  • Drizzle with icing made with lemon juice and icing sugar or just dust with icing sugar
  • Leave to cool in the tin on a cake grid.

 

Poppy Seed Yeast Buns

I recently posted a recipe for cinnamon buns, which were very soft and fluffy.

I thought – Why not use the traditional sweet Polish poppy seed mixture instead of the cinnamon mixture? – and so I did.

A mixture of strong and plain flours is used making the dough softer and a little harder to handle. After the first rising the dough is NOT knocked back, just used as it is to make a rectangular shape. Putting the buns into a deep foil lined roasting tin helps to let them rise into shape.

Ingredients – Dough

  • 250g strong flour
  • 250g plain flour
  • Half a tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 50g butter
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Around 330ml milk

Method

  • Line a roasting tin with foil taking it all up the sides.
  • Warm a little of the milk and add the yeast.
  • Leave for around 10 minutes.
  • Mix the flours together.
  • Rub the butter into the flour – like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the sugar.
  • Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture.
  • Add the beaten egg.
  • Slowly add the milk – you might not need all of it.
  • Use a knife first to start to bring everything together
  • Then use your hands and form a soft dough ball.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for at least 5 minutes – even up to 10 minutes.
  • Place the dough into a bowl, cover (a disposable shower cap is good) and leave to rise until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board.
  • DO NOT KNOCK BACK THE DOUGH.
  • Using you fingers gently flatten and shape the dough into a rectangle.
  • Cover the dough with the poppy seed mixture.
  • Roll into a log.
  • Slice into thick pieces.
  • Place the pieces into the tin.
  • Cover and leave to rise.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C
  • Once all the pieces are touching put in the hot oven.
  • Bake for around 20 mins – check and maybe cover after 15mins.
  • Drizzle some icing made from lemon juice and icing sugar over these or just dust with icing sugar.
  • Leave to cool in the tin on a cake grid.

Ingredients – Poppy seed mix

  • 180ml of milk (full fat or semi)
  • Around 100ml of runny honey (extra may be needed)
  • 120g of poppy seeds *
  • 50g of raisins
  • Strong Earl Grey tea
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • *
  • * You can grind the poppy seeds – I used a little electric grinder.

Method

  • Make some strong Earl Grey tea.
  • Put the raisins in a small bowl and cover them with the hot tea and leave till they go cold.
  • Into a small saucepan put the poppy seeds and the milk.
  • Bring to the boil then lower the heat.
  • Simmer gently for around 20 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Take care not to let the mixture burn.
  • Add the honey and continue heating and stirring.
  • Drain the raisins and add them to the mixture and mix them in.
  • Keep stirring and try and drive off any liquid left.
  • Taste for sweetness – you may want to add more honey.
  • Leave to go completely cold before using.
  • Add the grated lemon rind.
  • *
  • If this is too much filling – you can always freeze some.

 

 

Cinnamon Buns

As I have been doing lots of yeast recipes in the past few weeks when I was sent this lovely recipe for cinnamon buns I knew I had to try it out.

A mixture of strong and plain flours is used and this makes the dough softer and a little harder to handle. After the first rising the dough is NOT knocked back but just used as it is to make the rectangular shape. Putting the buns into a deep foil lined roasting tin helps to let them rise into shape. They come out very soft and fluffy.

Ingredients – dough

  • 250g strong flour
  • 250g plain flour
  • Half a tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 50g butter
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • Around 330ml milk

Ingredients – cinnamon mix

  • 40g butter – softened
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons demerara  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

  • Line a roasting tin with foil taking it all up the sides.
  • Warm a little of the milk and add the yeast.
  • Leave for around 10 minutes.
  • Mix the flours together.
  • Rub the butter into the flour – like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the sugar.
  • Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture.
  • Add the beaten egg
  • Slowly add the milk – you might not need all of it.
  • Use a knife first to start to bring everything together
  • Then use your hands and form a soft dough ball.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for at least 5 minutes – even up to 10 minutes.
  • Place the dough into a bowl, cover (a disposable shower cap is good) and leave to rise until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Mix up the cinnamon mixture in a small bowl.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board.
  • DO NOT KNOCK BACK THE DOUGH.
  • Using you fingers gently flatten and shape the dough into a rectangle.
  • Cover the dough with the cinnamon mixture.
  • Roll into a log.
  • Slice into thick pieces.
  • Place the pieces into the tin.
  • Cover and leave to rise.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C
  • Once all the pieces are touching put in the hot oven.
  • Bake for around 20 mins – check and maybe cover after 15mins.
  • leave to cool in the tin on a cake grid.
  • Dizzle with lemon icing  or dust or dust with icing sugar.

Rye Scones

This recipe is a cross between an English scone and soda bread.

I used this recipe with spelt flour and it was a huge success.

I now tried it out with rye flour using equal amounts of rye to plain flour.

In Poland you might call these babeczki – little buns or bułeczki – little bread buns.

Ingredients

  • 125g rye flour
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 30g of demerara or granulated sugar  & 1/2 tablespoon
  • 80g of sultanas or raisins
  • 65g butter – chilled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons of yoghurt & milk to make 125ml
  • 1 egg

Method

  • Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  • Preheat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.
  • Mix the flours, baking powder and salt together.
  • Add the butter and mix in with the flour to make breadcrumbs.
  • Add the 30g of sugar.
  • Add the sultanas or raisins.
  • Lightly mix the egg into the yoghurt/milk mixture.
  • Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture.
  • With a knife work the mixture together to make a damp rough ball.
  • Turn the ball of dough on the the baking sheet.
  • Form into a flattened disc around 20cm in diameter.
  • Sprinkle with the 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.
  • Deeply score the disc into eight sections.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden and firm.

They tastes delicious freshly baked with butter & the next day slightly warmed or toasted.

Served on Elizabethan Carnaby from the 1960s.

Variations

These were so delicious I made them again but instead of sultanas used –

  • 80g chopped dried apricots

 

 

 

 

Or

  • 80g dried cranberries

 

 

 

 

 

All versions are super!

 

Cinnamon Fruit Yeast Buns

These  bułeczki – little yeast buns – are based on an English recipe for hot cross buns, which are made for Good Friday.

I love the addition of a chopped eating apple and grated orange rind.

These take most of the day to make – best done on a day you are in with other things to do in between.

Ingredients

  • 330ml of milk (might need a little more)
  • 50g butter
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 7g sachet of dried yeast
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 75g sultanas
  • 50g mixed peel
  • Grated rind of an orange
  • 1 eating apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 + 1/2  teaspoons of cinnamon
  • *
  • For the glaze
  • 2 tablespoons of apricot jam

Method

  • Bring the milk to the boil.
  • Add the butter and leave till hand-warm.
  • Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl.
  • Make a well in the centre, add the milk and butter and then the egg.
  • Mix with a wooden spoon.
  • Bring the mixture together with your hands to form a sticky dough.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for around 5 minutes.
  • Put the dough into an oiled bowl
  • Cover with a shower cap (very useful these!) or cloth.
  • Leave to rise until doubled in size.
  • *
  • In a bowl mix together the sultanas, mixed peel, orange rind, apple and cinnamon.
  • Add this mixture to the risen dough and knead until it is all well distributed.
  • Cover again and leave to rise until doubled in size.
  • *
  • Cover a large baking tray with greaseproof.
  • Divide the dough into 15 even pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured surface.
  • Arrange the balls on the baking tray with some room for expansion.
  • Cover loosely with a cloth and leave to prove – for around one hour.
  • *
  • Preheat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.
  • Bake for around 20 minutes until the buns are golden brown.
  • *
  • Gently heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan.
  • Brush the jam over the tops of the small buns.

Delicious on their own or buttered!

 

Spelt Scones

This recipe is a cross between an English scone and soda bread.

In Poland you might call these babeczki – little buns or bułeczki – little bread buns. Spelt flour gives this a lovely taste.

Ingredients

  • 250g spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 30g of demerara or granulated sugar  & 1/2 tablespoon
  • 80g of sultanas or raisins
  • 65g butter – chilled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons of yoghurt & milk to make 125ml of liquid
  • 1 egg

Method

  • Line a baking sheet with grease-proof paper.
  • Preheat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.
  • Add the butter and mix in with the flour to make breadcrumbs.
  • Add the 30g of sugar.
  • Add the sultanas or raisins.
  • Lightly mix the egg into the yoghurt/milk mixture.
  • Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture.
  • With a knife work the mixture together to make a damp rough ball.
  • Turn the ball of dough on the the baking sheet.
  • Form into a flattened disc around 20cm in diameter.
  • Sprinkle with the 1/2 tablespoon of the demerara sugar.
  • Deeply score the disc into eight sections.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden and firm.

They tastes delicious freshly baked with butter & the next day slightly warmed or toasted.

Served here on  Ansley – Las Palmas tea plates from the 1960s and on Queen Anne tea plates.

Mince Pies

I think of these as very British – but we all love them and they have become part of our Christmas Day celebrations. Originally the pies were made with meat and this idea of meat and spices came from the Middle East and it is thought to have been the brought back by the Crusaders.

I make these with the pastry that I learnt from my mother  – a variation on kruche & półkruche,  pastry (a richer shortcrust pastry).  Using the proportion of 2 parts flour to 1 part butter.

Ingredients

Pastry

200g plain flour

100g butter or block margarine

1-2 tablespoons of icing sugar

1 egg yolk

Juice of 1 lemon (and maybe 1 tablespoon of cold water)

Glaze

Lightly beaten egg white

Caster sugar

Mincemeat

I always make my own mincemeat using the recipe in Delia Smith’s Christmas cookery book but without the chopped almonds (I do not like the crunch of the nuts).

 

 

 

 

 

When making the pies I add a little extra brandy or sherry to the mincemeat and stir it in.

My tins are anodised aluminium and have a gentle rounded shape, this I think make for the perfect balance between the pastry and the filling.

I put “tops” on my mince pies – but not fully covered ones.

The tops are brushed with beaten egg white and sprinkled with caster sugar.

 

Method for pastry

Rub the butter into the flour to make “breadcrumbs”.

Mix in the icing sugar.

First with a knife and then with your fingertips mix in the yolk & lemon juice (and  maybe a tablespoon of cold water.)

You are aiming to get a dough which is not wet.

Rest for about 10 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C

You need to grease the tins well in order to get the pies out successfully.

I often use the pastry in two halves.

2 sizes of cutters are needed – 1 – 7cm diameter, plain, for the base, 1 – 6cm diameter, crinkle edge for the top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut out the bases and place them in the tins

Place around a tablespoonful of mincemeat on the pastry.

Place the smaller tops on.

Lightly beat the egg white and brush this on the tops

Sprinkle caster sugar over the egg white.

Bake for around 15 minutes – keeping an eye on them – so they do not burn.

Leave to cool slightly in the tins & carefully remove them onto a rack to fully cool.

 

Tea-plate is Stardust by Colclough from the 1960s.

 

Mince pies on buffet table

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Madeleine Cakes

I was in Marks & Spencer’s and saw these lovely tins and thought   “I must try these“.

I bought 2 tins and then the following week I got another and after trying out some recipes I bought a 4th.

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Madeleines are very small sponge cakes baked in tins with shell-shaped depressions.

Of course you can make then in small bun tins if you want to see if you like them before investing in the tins.

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They originated from the Lorraine region in France.

When looking for recipes I thought that these did not have a Polish connection but in fact they do!

The exiled king of Poland, Stanisław  Leszczyński (1677 – 1766), was the Duke of Lorraine from 1737 -1766  and his daughter Maria was married to Louis XV of France.

Madeleine Paulmier was the cook for the exiled king and the story goes that these little cakes were named after her.

Marcel Proust  (1871 – 1922) the French author described them as “a little shell of a cake, so generously sensual beneath the piety of its stern pleating…” in his book  À la recherche du temps perdu  – In Search of Lost Time.

I have tried out many different recipes all with varying  quantities – my head was spinning trying to sort them all out.

The following three are I ones I liked best.

They are all based on variations of the Genoise Sponge in which you use melted butter.

For ALL the recipes you must grease the tins well – I have found that using melted butter & a pastry brush is very effective.

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Madeleines 1

This mixture made over 30 Madeleines.

Ingredients

65g Butter (plus extra for greasing the pans)

65g Icing sugar

2 eggs

65g Self-raising flour

2-3 drops of vanilla essence

Method

Grease the tins.

Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180ºC

In a small pan melt the butter and leave it to cool.

Whisk the icing sugar, eggs and vanilla essence together until the mixture is thick and creamy.

Gently fold in the self-raising flour using a metal spoon.

Gently fold in the melted butter using a metal spoon.

Divide the mixture between the tins.

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Bake for around 10minutes till golden.

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Leave them to cool slightly in the tins and then remove them onto a wire rack.

Dredge them liberally with icing sugar.

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Madeleines  2 – With Ground Almonds

This mixture made around 30 Madeleines

Ingredients

65g Butter (plus extra for greasing the pans)

65g Icing sugar

2 eggs

65g Self-raising flour

65g Ground almonds

2-3 drops of vanilla or almond essence.

Method

Grease the tins.

Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180ºC

In a small pan melt the butter and leave it to cool.

Whisk the icing sugar, eggs and vanilla or almond essence together until the mixture is thick and creamy.

Mix the self-raising flour and ground almonds together.

Gently  fold in the flour and almond mixture using a metal spoon.

Gently fold in the melted butter using a metal spoon.

Divide the mixture between the pans.

Bake for around 10 minutes till golden

Leave them to cool slightly in the tins and then remove them onto a wire rack.

Dredge them liberally with icing sugar.

Madeleines  3 – With Ground Almonds & Honey

This recipe is based on a updated recipe from Mrs Beeton  in  How To Cook – 220 Classic Recipes For The Modern Kitchen – 2011.

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This mixture made 36 Madeleines.

Ingredients

120g butter (plus extra for greasing the pans)

50g runny honey

3 eggs

100g caster sugar

100g self raising flour

25g ground almonds.

Method

Place the butter in a small pan to melt over a medium-high heat and allow it to cook until it starts to brown lightly.

Remove then pan from from the heat and add the honey and stir it in well.

Leave the mixture to cool slightly.

Whisk the icing sugar and eggs together until the mixture is thick and creamy.

Mix the self-raising flour and ground almonds together.

Gently  fold in the flour and almond mixture using a metal spoon.

 

Gently fold in the cooled  butter and honey mixture using a metal spoon until fully incorporated.

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Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Grease the tins.

Divide the mixture between the tins.

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Let them rest for 10 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to GM3- 160ºC

Bake for around 10 minutes till golden.

Keep an eye on them as the honey in them tends to brown quickly.

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Leave them to cool slightly in the tins and then remove them onto a wire rack.

Dredge them liberally with icing sugar.

Bułeczki – Sweet Yeast Buns

Bułeczki  – this word can cause a little confusion as it can mean –  little white bread rolls or a more sweet yeast bun.

This recipe has been used to make round buns with a filling – it can be used for a variety of sweet buns – all of which are very popular in Poland.

A few reminders when using yeast in baking

  • Learn to be patient – you cannot control the timings exactly with yeast, it depends on the temperature of the room and the flour used and other variables.
  • Do yeast baking on a day you are planning to be in & have other things to do, but ones you can break off from when needed.
  • Heat the milk so it is at body temperature – use the finger test – too hot and you will kill the yeast – too cold is okay – it will just take longer.
  • An egg glaze often burns too quickly –  I have found an egg white or egg white & water glaze gives a better result.

The older Polish recipes use fresh yeast. I have used dried yeast and had very good results.  (I have not tried using easy bake yeast for this recipe).

Basic sweet dough recipe

Ingredients

Yeast starter

25g fresh yeast or 15g dried yeast

1 tablespoon of  sugar

250ml  milk – warmed

Rest of dough

3 yolks

100g granulated sugar

*******

500g plain flour

2-3 drops of vanilla essence

Zest of 1 lemon

1/4 teaspoon of salt

******

60g of melted butter

******

Egg or egg white to glaze (whole egg tends to brown very quickly).

Fillings

Jam – I used strawberry jam and also blackcurrant jam (made by my friend in Leeds) and I think the more tart blackcurrant jam goes better with the semi-sweet dough.

Mincemeat – I used my own mincemeat which is from the recipe by Delia Smith but without the chopped almonds. This of course in one way is very English, but it would be recognised in Poland if  described as bakalie –  which is a  mixture made of dried fruits (often with figs or dates), nuts and honey.

Method

Mix the yeast, sugar and warmed milk together and leave it till it doubles in size.

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Whisk the yolks and sugar together until the mixture is pale and thick.

Put the flour into a large bowl, add the yeast starter, the yolks & sugar mix, vanilla essence, lemon zest and the salt.

Combine everything together and knead it together until the dough leaves the side of the bowl clean.

Add the melted butter and mix it in and then knead it well until you get a glossy smooth dough.

Place it back in the bowl and cover with a cloth and leave it until it doubles in size.

Grease 1 or 2 baking sheets to hold 16 buns.

Knead the dough again lightly, then cut in to half and half again and so on to give 16 pieces.

Roll each piece into a smooth ball, then flatten it and roll it out into a circle.

Put a small spoonful of filling onto each circle and then draw the edges of the dough circle together and pinch the dough to seal in the filling.

Turn the balls over so the seal is on the underside.

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Place the buns on the baking sheets with room apart for them to double in size.

Cover the buns with a cloth and leave them to rise to double in size.

Pre-heat the oven to GM 5 – 190ºC

When the buns have doubled in size brush them with an egg or egg white wash.

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I used whole egg in this case but since have found that egg white does not burn as quickly.

Bake the buns for around 15 minutes.

 

 

Leave to cool before serving.

 

 

Tea plates are Las Palmas  by Aynsley from the 1960s.

 

 

Babeczka – Small Cake – Little Bun

Babka is the name of a cake in Polish – or rather it refers to its shape – the name means grandma or little old lady – the shape is round and dumpy.

It can be a yeast cake or a sponge type cake. I will go into detail about these later in the year.

A small  bun or fairy cake can be called a babeczka (babeczki is the plural).

I have also seen the word mufinka now in Poland!

Using my various poppy seed recipes I have tried out some variations to make some babeczki.

These I made with a yeast pastry & poppy seed filling for Wigilia – Christmas Eve – a couple of years ago – using a different yeast pastry to the one in the traditional poppy seed roll.

Babeczki with Poppy Seed filling. The photo is dark as it was taken in the evening whilst getting ready for the special meal.

I used a simple sponge mixture to make 2 other types of poppy seed buns.

I have used paper cases – I am not sure if these are available or used in Poland but they are so useful and make the buns very portable and easy to eat.

You can use a basic Victoria sponge mixture made using 2 eggs, butter or margarine, caster sugar and self-raising – the recipe method and amounts such as in the Be-Ro  recipe book will work well.

This mixture should make about 12 buns.

I use a method  which I will write about in more detail later in the year, in this  the eggs are weighed in their shells and each of the other ingredients is then that same weight.

Weighing eggs

Buns – 1 – Using dry roasted poppy seeds To the sponge mixture you add dry roasted poppy seeds. The dry roasting  gives them a more nutty flavour. Note – Lemon zest  is not used in this recipe.

Buns made with Dry Roasted Poppy Seeds

To dry roast poppy seeds It is best to make this first before mixing up the sponge cake.  Weigh out the required amount of poppy seeds  – in this case 40 – 50g for a 2 egg cake mixture.

In a small dry  frying pan (ie without any oil or butter) fry the seeds for 5 minutes – stirring them with a wooden spoon or spatula – being careful not to burn them.

Tip the hot seeds into a bowl containing some cold milk. Once cool, pour the mixture into a fine sieve to separate the seeds from the milk.

Leave the sieve over an empty bowl, press down on the seed a few times to  remove as much milk as possible.

Buns -2  – Using the traditional poppy seed filling

Making the filling  is time consuming but only a small amount is needed to make 12 buns. So what I do is to make in the full amount with 200g of poppy seeds as in an earlier post Poppy Seed Cakes and Yeast Cakes  in advance and then portion this up into 2 or 3 portions and freeze them.

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Poppy Seed Mixture

 

Put the bun cases into the bun tray.

Now the next it is a bit fiddly and you have to judge the quantities by eye.

The idea is to:

  • put a spoonful of cake mixture into each bun case
  • followed by a spoonful of poppy seed mixture
  • followed by a covering amount of cake mixture.

I have found it easier to do each step for all 12 buns at a time – that is :

  • cake mixture into all the cases
  • then the poppy seed filling
  • then final cake mixture.

Bake the buns in the usual way  – GM5 – 190°C  – for around 15 to 20 minutes.

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Dust with Icing Sugar once they have cooled and before serving

IMG_20150709_073855224 IMG_20150709_075018278 IMG_20150709_082101258 IMG_20150709_082114326 These have proved very popular!